Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Permanent Olympic site

Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. It got me to revisit an idea I had some time ago for a permanent Olympic site. To host the Games every four years at the one site would avoid all the disruptive urban destruction and social dislocation that befalls each host city. It would provide a place for training for younger athletes especially from the less wealthy parts of the world and a site for international gatherings of young people around arts and culture as well as sports. On the other hand it would mean no renewal of the Barcelona waterfront, the remediation of Homebush Bay in Sydney or the lower Lea Valley in London. But for every Barcelona and Sydney there is also an Atlanta and Beijing where the poor were displaced and further marginalized.

I spoke with the the young journalist Nate Berg about the idea and he produced a finely crafted piece in The Atlantic.


Olympic Stadium, Athens (Photo: John Rennie Short)